Quick Hits: The Kenyan Hockey Team Edition
In Red Wings Land
How Detroit Red Wings prospect Givani Smith can fit into the rebuild
Smith turned pro in 2018-19 and notched six goals, seven assists — and 86 penalty minutes — in 64 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He added two assists in a four-game playoff run. Smith improved in his second year of pro hockey, and had nine goals and 10 assists, plus 75 penalty minutes, in 37 games when the AHL shut down March 12.
“Givani was playing really, really good hockey,” Wings director of player development Shawn Horcoff said. “The first half, he was probably our most consistent best forward down in Grand Rapids.”
I really liked what I saw from Smith during his time in Detroit this season. I
Around the NHL
Color of Hockey: Kenya Ice Lions ready to roar
This is a really cool story. The more people getting a chance to play hockey, the better.
"I think the turning point is the Tim Hortons thing about two years ago, when they came back with full sets of gear," said Jon Saunders, a former Miami University defenseman who shuttles between London and Nairobi and helps coach the Ice Lions. "With the coaching that had been done and some of the notoriety, things just picked up from there. The skill level, on a scale of one to 10, went from a two to about six or seven. Now it's quite competitive; they've gotten really good."
The spotlight bought the team fame -- some Ice Lions traveled to PyeongChang for the 2018 Olympics -- and some good fortune. Tim Hortons donated some much-needed new equipment to the Ice Lions along with about $22,500 that Colby said recently arrived in Nairobi.